Robert “Bob” George Kathan
On Sunday, August 28, 2022, Robert “Bob” George Kathan was released from the cruel grip of Alzheimer’s disease. Bob’s amazing life of 92 years will be celebrated in a private family gathering, just as Bob requested. He was straightforward and to the point in life and in death.
Bob was a devoted son, husband, father, and grandfather. He proudly served in the United States Navy as a Seabee, whose motto is “Can Do!”. Bob lived by this motto. No problem was insurmountable; he always found a creative solution.
Bob is impossible to fully capture in words, but here are some that tell you who he was. Bob was dedicated in everything he did, intelligent, curious, always learning, hardworking, dependable, generous, and, yes, a bit stubborn. He was an artist, an architect, a builder, businessman, wood carver, gardener, voracious reader, math word story problem solver, and a true steward of the land and nature. He planted and lovingly tended a gigantic garden every single year until his knees would no longer cooperate.
For 22 years, Bob played a major role in the yearly La Crosse Octoberfest Medallion Hunt. He also was known as The Forest Festmaster in his unforgettable bear costume and drivable birch log he constructed from our riding lawn mower.
Bob had a very unique sense of humor. He loved jokes, especially the ribald ones, and told these jokes with a mischievous grin and a twinkle in his eye.
Bob loved morning coffee, breakfast, a brandy old fashioned sweet, Pinot noir wine with dinner, music (especially jazz), and all things mechanical. Bob loved traveling, especially to Washington, DC and Cocoa Beach, Florida to visit his kids. Our family trip to Paris was unforgettable.
More than anything, though, Bob loved his family. His family was his everything.
Bob truly lived the meaning of carpe diem “seize the day.” Indeed, he seized every moment of every day. Each day with Bob was an adventure. Our lives will not be the same without Bob.
There are many people who made Bob’s final years beautiful and dignified and cared for him with incredible tenderness. With tremendous gratitude and love, we thank the La Crescent Ladies (aka Team Gasper), the La Crosse County Aging and Disability Resource Center, Inclusa, Traditions of La Crescent, and Mayo Clinic Hospice.
If you would like to make a memorial gift in honor of Bob, please consider Minnesota Public Radio at MPR.org or Mississippi Valley Conservancy at Mississippivalleyconservancy.org.
Bob, we miss you and love you forever. Sayonara. —Your family